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MobiHealth Conference: Fraunhofer Portugal presents a system for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease

MobiHealth is an International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare. Fraunhofer Portugal attended the conference with a presentation on “Environment-aware system for Alzheimer’s patients”.

One of the top priorities of MobiHealth was to strengthen the synergy between researchers and experts from academia, healthcare organizations, research institutions and industry, to advance the research in the field of wireless communication and healthcare. "Transforming healthcare through innovations in mobile and wireless technologies" was the theme of the 4th edition which took place in Athens (Greece), from 3th to 5th of November.

With great expertise in the fields of technology innovations regarding chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer, a team from Fraunhofer Portugal had the opportunity to talk about some of the work in progress on a special session about current trends in wearable technologies, body sensor networks and Internet-of-Things enabling pervasive healthcare.

Alzheimer is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, discernment and behaviour. It has no current cure and symptoms cannot be stopped yet from developing, they can only be provisionally decelerated to improve the quality of life of patients and caregivers. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects about 90.000 people in Portugal, which makes it a public health problem and because of its nature and symptoms it is a huge weight on the caregivers.  The aim of AlzSense, one of the projects developed at Fraunhofer Portugal, is to create a remote monitoring system for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This system comprises a device able to monitor the environment temperature and humidity, the patients’ location, using GPS, as well as the patients’ movements, including falls.

The device sends this information to the caregiver via SMS, and also to a server, where it is stored in a database developed in this work, and which the caregiver can access via a smartphone, using an application also developed in this project. This system therefore affords a close surveillance of the patient’s status as well as access to historical data of the patients’ information.